The Minnesota Vikings are 1-1 this season but are also 1-0 in the division after a week 1 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
After getting lambasted by the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night, kumbaya time is over and overcoming adversity is the name of the game.
As they head into week three against the Detroit Lions, 5 players need to step up for the Vikings to take home the win.
It’s no secret that Cousins has had his ups and downs this season. After week one, there was hope that he had turned a corner. He was more confident and comfortable behind center than we had seen him in a Vikings uniform. Unfortunately, he followed it up with his twice-yearly clunker against the Eagles. He threw three interceptions with two of them really ugly. The Lions have the 31st-ranked scoring defense going into Sunday afternoon and Cousins needs to take advantage of that with the bevy of weapons at his disposal.
Sep 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) celebrates a touchdown during the second quarter against Seattle Seahawks at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Jefferson is going to continue to be the focus of defenses moving forward and his running mate will be able to take advantage. When you watch back the all-22 of the offense, the lack of production from Thielen isn’t due to age or not getting open but rather just not getting targeted. The Lions have a beatable secondary and Thielen should be in for a good day.
Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) on the sidelines against the Kansas City Chiefs before the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Against the Eagles, it felt like Hunter was a ghost. He didn’t make any splash plays while his running mate Za’Darius Smith had five pressures and was all over the field. The Lions sport the second-ranked scoring offense in the NFL and Jared Goff is still immobile. They need Hunter to wreak havoc in the backfield to come out of Sunday with a win.
Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler Sr. (3) reacts late during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Despite blowing two coverages against the Eagles on Monday night, Dantzler had a pretty solid game. He was coming off of his assignment to cover for other players in the secondary. The Vikings need Dantzler to take a big step on the outside with Patrick Peterson making it more and more evident that he is declining hard and fast. With Amon-Ra St. Brown and D.J. Chark playing as well as he has been, Dantzler needs to have a great game.
Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs with the ball against the Green Bay Packers in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Through two games, Cook has barely gotten any usage. With just 26 carries for 107 yards, that’s not the best way to use your expensive running back. Only six carries against the Eagles on Monday didn’t make a ton of sense, even once the Eagles had a 17 point lead. The Vikings have a history of focusing on the running game the week after Cousins puts up a clunker. Will head coach Kevin O’Connell utilize that same strategy? It would behoove him to do so.